17th Annual IAP2 Conference    

IAP2 LogoThis September 21-23 in San Diego, California, the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) is holding its 17th annual conference. This year’s theme will be Making Sustainable Decisions: The Price and Promise of Public Participation. As an Conference Partner, NCDD is playing a major role in the San Diego conference and we hope to have a large NCDD contingent there. NCDD members receive a $100 discount off the registration fee (just enter “NCDD” in the discount code box when you register!)

Here are some more details about the 17th Annual IAP2 Conference:

In recent years, sustainability has become the watchword for many human, social, corporate, and governmental endeavors. In some formulations, there are three “pillars” and in others there are four. Others refer to this concept as the “triple bottom line.” Whichever version one subscribes to IAP2 sees groups, organizations, and governments around the world struggling both to incorporate sustainability and involve stakeholders in their decision-making processes.

Sustainable decision-making has long been an underlying principle of public participation. IAP2’s emphasis on inclusionary processes is predicated on the belief that better decisions are made when community and social implications of that decision are fully factored into the decision making process. When the IAP2 Core Values were reviewed and revitalized in 2005, sustainable decision making was explicitly added as part of our values going forward.

The 2009 IAP2 conference will provide the opportunity to discuss the multiple facets of sustainability. In a kind of double entendre, we want to explore the state of the art both in terms of how to make decisions that reflect sustainability principles, as well as how to make decisions that are themselves “sustainable.” We believe these two facets feed into each other, but as the world’s premier organization focused on public participation in public decisions, IAP2 believes that the sustainability of the decision itself is in need of closer examination.

IAP2 wants to expand the definition of sustainability to encompass all the characteristics that make decision-making processes and the resulting decisions sustainable. Specifically, we are looking for presentations focused around the following themes:

  1. Sustainable decision-making processes: what characteristics are necessary for a public participation process to be sustainable?
  2. Sustainable decisions: In what ways does public participation lead to decisions that are more workable and enduring than those made without public participation?
  3. Sustainable outcomes: How do public participation processes and better decisions specifically contribute to the sustainability of projects and programs?

We believe now is the time to embed in decision-making sustainable processes that will lead to sustainable outcomes. We look forward to seeing you in San Diego to explore and advance our understanding of how to make better, stronger, durable decisions that improve our quality of life and leave a better world in place for future generations.

Visit iap2.org for more details about the event. We’ll also be posting more details on the NCDD site as they become available.

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